Climbing the Rwenzori Mountains

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Rwenzori Hike

Trekking the mystic Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda is a truly fantastic and unique experience, the wonder of the high glaciers, the beauty of the valley of nine lakes, the bearded lichen hanging from giant heathers with a backdrop of rocky cliffs, crags and snow capped peaks.

The wide variety of flora and fauna with several biospheres and during your Rwenzori Mountain Expedition, you will ascend through different vegetation zones creates the ultimate experience for trekking. Never before has this unique and beautiful trek been available, totally untouched and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful treks in the world.

The Rwenzori Mountains is a World Heritage Site and offers the opportunity to see nature at its best. The plant life varies from heavy tropical rain forest, bamboo forests, montane cloud forests to alpine vegetation and the scenery is truly spectacular.
Above 4,500 metres the snow and glaciers add that special dimension to the wondrous views throughout this pristine mountain range.

The Rwenzori range is a true mountain range with many climbs and descents and making it a tough climb however the scenery and beautiful vegetation are incredible.
The high rainfall of more than three metres per year, the moss covered rocks, the dense vegetation, the tall peaks and cliffs towering above to the moss covered valleys and meandering streams create a ‘Alice in Wonderland atmosphere’ which changes through several biospheres as you climb making the “Rwenzori Mountains” a truly unique experience.
Above is a view of the main peaks from Bamwanjara Pass which is between Camp 3 and Camp 4 on the Kilembe Route. On the left is Mt Stanley with Savoia, Great Tooth, Elena Peaks and just seen poking over the top is Margherita Peak.

In the centre is Mt. Speke and on the left you look over the ridge climbing to Wiesmanns Peak to see Mt Baker. The small prong or finger like rock on the ridge is McConnells Prong.
Behind the prong you can see the valley between Mt Stanley and Mt Baker. From where the photo is taken the trail continues down the valley or pass in the foreground past Kacholpe Lakes and Camp 4 before crossing the valley to Kitandra Lakes and Scott Elliott Pass.
You then climb to Camp 5 at 4,460 metres which is the top hut before climbing Margherita Peak.

The Rwenzori Mountains are located on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although the isolated volcanoes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya are taller, they are the highest range of mountains in Africa with the highest summit of Mt. Stanley reaching 5109 meters.

When the peaks were first explored at the end of the 19th century, there were six separate massifs that held glaciers on their flanks. At this point, the number has dwindled down to just three, with one of those holding only tattered remnants of its earlier glaciation.

Other Things to See in Rwenzori Mountains

Rwenzori Mountains National Park boasts not only for its remarkable mountain ranges where it takes its name but also hosts diverse floral and faunal species. A total number of about 70 species of mammals, 217 bird species are confined within the Rwenzori Mountains National Park making it one of the amazing Uganda safari destinations.

The Rwenzori Mountain ranges ecological zones include bamboo, alpine meadows, savanna grassland, tropical rainforest, heathers etc. These all range in varying altitudinal areas where grassland is found at 1676-2286m, mostly protecting diversity of grassland related wildlife. 300-3800m has bamboo forest, tropical rainforest above 3800m, alpine zone concentrates around 3500m while 4500m has permanent snow and glaciers.

Things to pack for your hiking safari in Rwenzori Mountains

Planning to go hiking safari in Rwenzori Mountains soon? Here are the essential items you must have for your Rwenzori Mountain trek. They include camera, waterproof hiking/climbing boots, waterproof daypack, hat, climbing poles (found at the park), insect repellents, rain jacket/coat/poncho, gloves, plenty of drinking water, sleeping bags, snacks.

How to Get to the Rwenzoris

Getting to Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon has two options-by road or air and by road, most safaris start from Kampala/Entebbe. You drive from Kampala take the Mubende-Fort Portal route or Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara to Kasese or fly to save time, setting off from Entebbe Airport to Kasese airfield.

Where to Stay During Your Safari in the Rwenzoris

Rwenzori Mountains National Park has all accommodation options, each offering ultimate comfort to visitors on Uganda safari here. They include budget, mid-range and luxury, including Equator Snow Lodge, Mihunga Safari Lodge, Hotel Margherita, Ruboni Community Camp.